University of Oxford
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Japanese Prisoner of War

online resource
posted on 2024-06-05, 18:00 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

David was a prisoner of war on the Japanese 'death railway'. He was captured 15th February 1942 at Singapore. After the war in Renfrewshire his friends pooled money together and gifted him a gold watch with his initials on it. His fellow prisoner of war, Kenneth Elwell, who died early in 1946 drew a pencil portrait of David.
David was part of the Royal Army Service Corps.

After the war he blocked out his experiences but he did meet up with fellow POWs. In old age he suffered from nightmares due to his experiences. David's daughter wears his POW dog tag instead of a poppy.

The photos and cuttings uploaded were kept in a blue handmade oilcloth wallet/scrapbook.


Item list and details

1. Original service book 2. Sicknotes 5. Copy of songs of Shakespeare 6. Letter from a fellow prisoner 7. Copies of various photographs from scrap book 8. Watch 9. Letter declaring David missing 10. Japanese POW dog tag 11. Pencil drawing of David done by fellow POW Kenneth Elwell. 12. Notes of service itinerary 13. Newspaper cuttings 14. Photograph of contributor's father, David 15. Photograph of contributor's mother, David's wife 16. Family photograph including contributor's grandparents 17. Photograph of David's squadron 18. Purse made out of oil cloth for carrying photographs and cuttings 19. Photograph of David's wife plus companion 20. Address list of people in the camp and people to contact if David didn't make it. 21. Japanese currency.

Person the story/items relate to

L Cpl David John Alexander Stewart T/162505

Person who shared the story/items

Alison Gilmour

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor


Type of submission

Shared at York Army Museum, York on 5 June 2023.

Record ID

115733 | YOR006